Deconstructing Alibaba Cloud's Preemptible Instance Pricing

Danielle Movsowitz Davidow, Orna Agmon Ben-Yehuda, Orr Dunkelman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Alibaba Cloud's preemptible instances are IaaS instances sold using an auction, similar to the spot instances offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Clients purchase them by bidding. The instances are terminated when supply is insufficient, or when the client's bid is lower than the "market price"- - which Alibaba Cloud publishes ever so often. We collected Alibaba Cloud's preemptible price traces from November 2018 to July 2021. This work analyzes the traces, and shows evidence that they experienced sharp lateral behavioral changes over time. We characterize the traces before and after these events. Our analysis highlights features in the traces that seem to be artificially engineered by an underlying pricing mechanism. Since engineered features may abruptly change, they are particularly interesting to clients planning their bidding strategy, or scholars who study them (e.g., to design new pricing mechanisms on the basis of real-life data).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHPDC 2023 - Proceedings of the 32nd International Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages253-265
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9798400701559
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2023
Event32nd International Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing, HPDC 2023 - Orlando, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 202323 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameHPDC 2023 - Proceedings of the 32nd International Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing

Conference

Conference32nd International Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing, HPDC 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando
Period16/06/2323/06/23

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the Israeli Science Foundation through grant No. 880/18, and by the Golda Meir scholarship of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology. The authors thank Galia Nordon and Mickey Gabel for fruitful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 ACM.

Keywords

  • alibaba cloud
  • auctions
  • cloud computing
  • traces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Hardware and Architecture

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